Hey Pastor, why is your church so small? Have you ever been asked that question by anyone? Probably not. There has probably never been anyone actually come right out and ask you why your church is so small. Well, maybe one person…
There is actually one person, right, who has asked you that question? Likely you get it more often than you care to, and each time you hear it asked, in your heart, you shrink just a little more.
You really don’t know the answer, and you wish the question would just stop coming. But no, there it is again – Hey, Pastor, why is your church so small?! You know who it is that asks you that. Over and over, they keep asking. What is wrong with them?! Why don’t they let it die?
You know who asks it… look in the mirror… there they are!! There is that person who keeps bringing it up again and again. Yeah. It’s YOU!
C’mon now, do you really think that Jesus laid awake at night asking himself why so few people followed him around? Why so few committed to being his disciples? I mean, he was even God!
I think that when we ask that question: Why is my church so small? we are really focusing on the wrong thing. Our values get temporarily screwed up.
It’s not about how many people pour into our church on Sunday, it’s about how much of ourselves we pour into others Monday through Saturday! It’s not about the Sunday crowd, it’s about the daily individuals.
Jesus has taught us that he shows up through the homeless, the sick, the imprisoned, the hungry, the thirsty, and the oppressed. He shows up in the orphan and the widow, the lonely and the addict. We get to love Jesus and live Kingdom lives when we reach out and pour ourselves into the least of these in our communities.
That right there my friends is our challenge. Let’s worry about how much of ourselves we pour into the least of these. The hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. How much of ourselves do we pour into the sheep we also already have in our church?
It’s not about how many people pour into our church building? How much do we pour ourselves out during the week?
I know – we just talked about the burned out pastors, the stressed and the depressed. How can we now ask you to pour yourself out?
Well, that’s just it. If you aren’t caring for yourself, you simply cannot pour out the overflow of Jesus in you – into the lives of others. And, we need to.
Care for yourself. Get your rest, your exercise, and your prayer time. Be full of the Spirit of Jesus. Give, lead, and serve – out of the overflow of the Spirit’s abundance in you.
C’mon now, don’t worry about how many people come this weekend. Pay attention to how many people we serve during the week.
Trust the LORD who builds his church, the LORD of the harvest, with how many show up. Let’s us just work on caring for the people we have – pouring ourselves into them. Then when we’ve properly and lovingly cared for the people already in our care, God will give us more.
P.S. Stop asking yourself why your church is so small! Love people. That’s all.
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